Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston has a simple wish as another school year comes to a close: That no Dearborn teens die in car crashes.
Whiston joined Ford Motor Company, AAA Michigan, the Dearborn Police Department, Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Michigan, and local high school administrators in kicking off the Safe Mature and Responsible Teen Summer Driving Campaign on Wednesday at the Dearborn Police Department.
The program encourages Dearborn teens to make smart decisions (hence the acronym, SMART) when getting behind the wheel–especially as they head into the summer driving season.
It's an important message for Dearborn Schools administrators.
"This has been a tough year for Dearborn Public Schools," Whiston said, referrencing the loss of Business Services Director Bob Cipriano, as well as the death of Edsel Ford High School teacher Michael Grenfell. "What I don't want to do is end the year with the loss of one of our students.
"I ask that you make good decisions."
Dearborn Chief of Police Ronald Haddad said that with the start of the Memorial Day weekend, police will place added emphasis on watching for seatbelt use, drunk drivers, and distracted driving.
The latter, added Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, is especially crucial for teen drivers.
"Don't drive distracted," he said.
Thankfully, the 2011-12 school year resulted in no serious car crashes for Dearborn Public Schools students.
Added Edsel Ford High School principal Hassane Jayfer, "We had our proms, and we nailed it!"